Having a Spotify subscription is sort of like getting a treasure map of music gold. And so it was that I rediscovered the remarkable vocal trio Wilson Phillips and their 2012 album “Dedicated.”
It’s over 25 years now that Sarah was starting high school and we were taking March Breaks in Arizona. Back then the “girl group” composed of the daughters of Brian Wilson / John and Michelle Phillips were all over the FM top 40 stations in Phoenix and Tucson. Their debut album was the biggest ever by a female trio – bigger than the Supremes if you can believe it. Then they were gone from the charts as soon as they arrived it seems.
Flash forward to 2012 and these “girls” were now working moms in their 40s. They had reunited off and on since 1992 – and to mark 20+ years of collaboration decided to put together a tribute album to the music of their parents. They chose some of the great hits of their parents’ respective 60s groups, plus some more obscure songs they personally loved. It was more than a collection of covers – despite the fact that one song is a cover of a cover of a cover. No indeed; this was the music of their lives.
They have given these classic Beach Boys and Mamas and Papas songs their own personal touch, They pay homage to the original arrangements but don’t ever try to duplicate them – how could they? The tour de force on the album is the a capella version of Wilson’s masterpiece “Good Vibrations,” where vocal harmonies take the place of that signature theramin riff. Carney Wilson does a pretty good Mike Love impression too.
The result is quite wonderful – so good I hope to convince my son-in-law to play it for the grandkids (who are real oldies fans.) It’s time they got an education on the music grandpa loved back when – by a group their mother liked. How else to learn the history of Rock and Pop?